In this study, we analyze for the first time endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dynamics and organization during oogenesis and embryonic divisions of Drosophila melanogaster using a Protein Disulfide Isomerase (PDI) GFP chimera protein. An accumulation of ER material into the oocyte takes place during the early steps of oogenesis. The compact organization of ER structures undergoes a transition to an expanded reticular network at fertilization. At the syncytial stage, this network connects to the nuclear envelope as each nucleus divides. Time-lapse confocal microscopy on PDI transgenic embryos allowed us to characterize a rapid redistribution of the ER during the mitotic phases. The ER network is massively recruited to the spindle poles in prophase. During metaphase most of the ER remains concentrated at the spindle poles and shortly thereafter forms several layers of membranes along the ruptured nuclear envelope. Later, during telophase an accumulation of ER material occurs at the spindle equator. We also analyzed the subcellular organization of the ER network at the ultrastructural level, allowing us to corroborate the results from confocal microscopy studies. This dynamic redistribution of ER suggests an unexpected regulatory function for this organelle during mitosis.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.